29 setembro 2004


Why Google News signals the death of the online exclusive: the problem of trying to remember who was first has become completely irrelevant. Instead, the most popular news site on the Net - Google News - has created a system which is killing the value of the "exclusive" online.
The reason why is subtle, but simple. Google News works by automatically "aggregating" news from thousands of news and other sources around the Web every minute of the day, and then collecting those into "groups" around a topic headline such as "Sopranos, Angels hit high notes at Emmys", which detailed the recent Emmy Awards. Around that main link (to The Australian's website) were links to seven other online versions from different publications, and another link to what may be hundreds of similar reports.
And why was The Australian chosen for the top spot in the topic headline? Because it was the most recently updated of the websites carrying the story. But in the case of what starts out as an exclusive story, such as Abu Ghraib, the most recently updated site won't be the one which got the exclusive. It'll be the me-too site, probably reporting what's on the newswires, and adding it (perhaps automatically via a computer) to its site. The organisation that got the exclusive languishes, perversely, at the bottom of Google's huge list, in a place where nobody is ever likely to "click through" to it to see the adverts there.

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